Your Bucket List Trip to Key West: Where to Go for the Experience of a Lifetime

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Key West is one of the top vacation destinations in the United States, and it’s easy to see why it’s often included on people’s travel bucket lists. Between the easy access by plane, car, or boat, and the always-sunny weather, there’s a lot to like. The island city is home to a major airport that makes getting here from any major airline hub just a quick trip; there is also plenty of marina space for your boat if that’s how you prefer to travel; and, it’s just a few hours’ drives south from Miami. But if you’re only making it to Key West once, you’ll want to make the most of your time here. These are the best places to visit for the trip of your life. 

Book a Fishing Charter

People around the world flock to Key West for the amazing fishing. Because of its unique location between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, the waters off of Key West are abundant with schools of fish year-round. Depending on the time of year, you can catch snapper, grouper, tarpon, mahi-mahi, cobia, bonefish, snook, and tuna. It’s a great activity for experienced anglers as well as novices who have never picked up a fishing pole. By booking a fishing trip with All In Fishing Charters,  you can have an experience you will remember forever. Choose half-or full-day trips that focus on the backcountry, flats, deep water, wreck, or reef fishing. All of the fishing tackle you need is provided, and because you are on a chartered boat captained by professionals, you don’t even need to worry about your fishing permits–going with All In Fishing Charters means you are covered. And if you make a great catch, there are plenty of restaurants in Key West that will cook your catch. Often, you can have it prepared according to your choice of methods–usually grilled, blackened, or broiled, and served family-style so you can share it easily with your dining companions.

Dry Tortugas National Park

This national park stands out because it’s virtually all underwater, and the shallow, clear waters are ideal for underwater sports like diving and snorkeling. Because the park is about 75 miles off the coast of Key West, you’ll need to take the ferry here. It runs daily, and reservations are required; you’ll want to book your spot as soon as you know you’re visiting Key West, though, because they fill up fast. Once you arrive on the primary island, Garden Key, you can tour the historic fort, walk the promenade surrounding it, swim and sunbathe at the beach, kayak around the smaller islands, and go snorkeling and diving. The park is home to multiple shipwrecks and reefs that are a good fit for those new to underwater sports, as the water isn’t very deep and the visibility is typically very good. Once you return to Key West, you’ll be ready for a satisfying meal so make a stop at Eaton Street Seafood Market, located in Old Town Key West. Every dish is prepared from their catch of the day, and you can’t go wrong with lobster rolls, fish tacos, and conch fritters. You can’t miss the charming Art Deco-style exterior!

Stroll Duval Street

This Key West version of your hometown’s main street is full of life and activities so you can explore and discover to your heart’s content, whatever that may be. There are dozens of boutiques offering the best locally made arts and crafts items, including jewelry, art, clothing, shoes, pottery, glassware, and sculpture, as well as vintage items, food, wine, cigars, and even your favorite traditional souvenirs like snow globes, t-shirts, holiday ornaments, fridge magnets, and key chains. 

All along Duval, you’ll find small cafes and restaurants. And after dark, you can linger over a glass of wine, beer, or cocktails in bars and jazz clubs. The street offers easy access to a wide range of activities, too, within a block or two. These include the Hemingway Home and Museum, the Key West Butterfly Garden and Nature Conservatory, the Key West Lighthouse, and Audubon House and Tropical Gardens. 

As the day winds down, don’t miss the Sunset Celebration that happens nightly at the top of Duval Street, in Mallory Square. The live music, arts, and craft vendors, performers, and food trucks make for a true family-friendly party atmosphere that’s focused on having a good time.

Key West: A Worthy Travel Bucket List Destination

In Key West, you’ll find a wide range of activities to enjoy, including fishing, snorkeling, shopping, and dining that stand out for easy access, affordability, and hospitality. Build an itinerary that delivers all of the adventure, relaxation, and enjoyment you could ask for in a memorable vacation. Book your trip to Key West today.